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The100: Ogilvy, Empathy and Felony

Game, set, match

At first, I thought it sounded ridiculous, but I’ve become more and more convinced after reading Farnam Street’s explanation on how avoiding stupidity provides more of an advantage than seeking brilliance.

In professional tennis about 80% of the points are won. However, in amateur tennis, about 80% of the points are lost. Many of us will hate to admit it, but we’re amateurs trying to play like a professional. We need to invert that.

Charlie Munger, billionaire and business partner of Warren Buffett, once said:

It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.

The ‘F’ word

If you’re going to do one thing today, book yourself a meeting room for 15 mins and watch this TED Talk from Carole Cadwalladr.

The event was sponsored by Facebook and Google, and also featured a presentation from the co-founder of Twitter.

Cadwalladr is a reporter for The Observer and The Guardian.

Cadwalladr is also the reporter who broke the story that became the Cambridge Analytica scandal.


In this hugely powerful talk she calls out the giants of Silicon Valley – many of whose employees would have been in the audience – and their refusal to cooperate, and questions whether free and fair elections are a thing of the past.

This technology that you have invented has been amazing. But now, it’s a crime scene. And you have the evidence […] What the Brexit vote demonstrates is that liberal democracy is broken. And you broke it.

Sliding up the scale

Beautiful slides are hard to create. And this post doesn’t tell you how to make those kinds of slides. It tells you how to improve the slides we use day to day.

And, whilst I’m here, does anyone know when we all started calling our presentations ‘decks’?

The Don

Last edition you had Abbott. This time you’ve got Ogilvy. You lucky people.

Cole Schafer has extracted 17 life changing lessons from David Ogilvy that have nothing to do with advertising. And by the way, they’re rather good.

  • We try to do 7, 9 and 16
  • We’ve pushed 8
    (and think we do okay here – ask the team about South Africa)
  • We’ve never done 10 or 11 – or 14, but perhaps we should?

Selfish empathy

Hanna Roisin writes on the end of empathy and how a natural impulse is fluctuating.

Starting around 2000, the line starts to slide […] By 2009, on all the standard measure […] young people on average measure 40 percent less empathetic than my own generation […] The new rule for empathy seems to be: reserve it, not for your “enemies,” but for the people you believe are hurt, or you have decided need it the most. Empathy, but just for your own team. And empathizing with the other team? That’s practically a taboo.


Kaitlyn Reed shared a wonderful collection of TikTok videos showing people’s unique jobs.

(If you don’t know what a TikTok video is, don’t worry, I didn’t either. This will sort you out.)

It also made me realise I have no skills whatsoever. Anyone want to see a video of a middle-aged man writing emails?